A new initiative from the Blue Bulls Rugby Union has been announced to ensure a pipeline for payers and coaches to replace the lack of developmental structures of young players of SA Rugby’s contract model.
At last, one could say, there is proactive leadership at the Blue Bulls Rugby Union after decades of the BBRU management simply going through the motions.
The Blue Bulls Rugby Union have now launched the Future Blue Bulls Tournament on Thursday. The tournament will take place from 19 to 22 June at Warmbad Hoërskool in Bela-Bela.
The purpose of the tournament is to create an additional pipeline and pathway for players and coaches to the provincial and even professional structures of the Blue Bulls. It is also an opportunity to expose players and coaches to opportunities within the club structures and tertiary institutions of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union.
According to Willem Strauss, President of the BBRU, the tournament will expose participating players to the Blue Bulls club brands, and also create an opportunity to unearth talented players that did not form part of the mainstream teams like Craven Week and the likes.
“Bulls stars like Lood de Jager, Marco van Staden and Lizo Gqoboka did not play representative rugby at school level. In fact, Gqoboka only started playing rugby at the age of 19,” said Strauss.
The Future Blue Bulls Tournament and the Volcano U20 Super League are important tools in broadening the base of junior rugby in the Blue Bulls region. With less players to be contracted, this new pipeline will create an additional exposure platform for talented young players.
Strauss added that the players being scouted at school level played an integral part in recruiting players to the Bulls structures over the last couple of decades, This system should not only be nurtured, but also broadened with initiatives like the Future Blue Bulls Tournament and Volcano U20 Super League, which cater for the late developers.
Age groups from U11 to U19 as well as an Academy Cup will be part of the Future Blue Bulls Tournament.
The private academies of the Blue Bulls professional clubs will continue to develop players for junior representative teams. This year, the 52 junior contracted players of the Blue Bulls were allocated to the clubs and the Volcano U20 Super League. High profile coaches of the Blue Bulls will conduct coaching clinics and scout for talent these levels.
♦ Matches in the Future Blue Bulls Tournament will take place on Wednesday 19 June, Thursday 20 June and Saturday 22 June. The tournament will take place in the form of a festival with lots of entertainment and prizes to be won.
♦ “Initiatives like the Future Blue Bulls Project and the Volcano Super Cup Rugby League will greatly enhance the growth of the game at grassroots and club Level, ”said Dr Eugene Hare, CEO - Blue Bulls Rugby Union.
Mr. Paul Liddle, Headmaster of Warmbad Hoërskool, says the Future Blue Bulls Tournament promises to be a massive injection for sport in the Bela-Bela region, and will also create a lot of opportunities for boys from the country districts.
More than 2 000 participants are expected to attend.